Hurricane Relief Fund
English: Asylum for the Verbally Insane
We'll begin with a box, and the plural is boxes,
but the plural of ox became oxen not oxes.
One fowl is a goose, but two are called geese,
yet the plural of moose should never be meese.
You may find a lone mouse or a nest full of mice,
yet the plural of house is houses, not hice.
If the plural of man is always called men,
why shouldn't the plural of pan be called pen?
If I spoke of my foot and show you my feet,
and I give you a boot, would a pair be called beet?
If one is a tooth and a whole set are teeth,
why shouldn't the plural of booth be called beeth?
Then one may be that, and three would be those,
yet hat in the plural would never be hose,
and the plural of cat is cats, not cose.
We speak of a brother and also of brethren,
but though we say mother, we never say methren.
Then the masculine pronouns are he, his and him,
but imagine the feminine, she, shis and shim.
Let's face it--English is a crazy language. There is no egg in eggplant nor
ham in hamburger; neither apple nor pine in pineapple. English muffins
weren't invented in England.
We take English for granted. But if we explore its paradoxes, we find that
quicksand can work slowly, boxing rings are square, and a guinea pig is
neither from Guinea nor is it a pig.
And why is it that writers write but fingers don't fing, grocers don't groce
and hammers don't ham? Doesn't it seem crazy that you can make amends but
not one amend? If you have a bunch of odds and ends and get rid of all but
one of them, what do you call it? If teachers taught, why didn't preachers
praught? If a vegetarian eats vegetables, what does a humanitarian eat?
Sometimes I think all the folks who grew up speaking English should be
committed to an asylum for the verbally insane. In what other language do
people recite at a play and play at a recital?
We ship by truck but send cargo by ship. We have noses that run and feet
that smell. And how can a slim chance and a fat chance be the same, while a
wise man and a wise guy are opposites?
You have to marvel at the unique lunacy of a language in which your house
can burn up as it burns down, in which you fill in a form by filling it out,
and in which an alarm goes off by going on. So if Father is Pop, how come
Mother isn't Mop? And that is just the beginning - even though this is the
Websites judged in
a less than a blink: “In
just a brief one-twentieth of a second – less than half the time it takes to
blink – people make aesthetic judgments that influence the rest of their
experience with an Internet site.” So says a study published in the latest
issue of Behaviour and Information Technology journal (a product of
the U.K., hence the “u” in “behavior.”) The author of the
article, Gitte Lindgaard, said that “Web designers have to make sure
they’re not offending users visually. If the first impression is
negative, you’ll probably drive people off.” But the results did not
show how to win a positive reaction from users. While further research may
offer more clues, Lindgaard said the array of personal taste would always be
a limiting factor.
Tourism Up in 2005:
The United Nations World
Tourism Organization reported that “the number of
international tourist arrivals recorded worldwide grew by 5.5% and
exceeded 800 million for the first time ever.” Despite natural disasters and
terrorism attacks in 2005, international tourism fared well. “Based on
detailed results for a large number of destinations included in the January
issue of the UNWTO World Tourism Barometer, the number of international
tourist arrivals in 2005 is estimated at 808 million, up from 766 million in
Africa led the way in 2005, with growth estimated at 10%. Growth in Asia and
the Pacific averaged 7%. Growth reached 6%, with North America (+4%) and the
Caribbean (+5%) slightly below the regional average. The United States
continued the recovery started in 2004 (+8% Jan-Sep), while Mexico (+8%
Jan-Nov) and Cuba (+13% Jan-Nov) still showed above-average increases. The
Middle East increase for 2005 is estimated at 7%. Europe recorded relatively
modest growth of 4%, which is still one percentage point above the long-term
trend of the region.
In 2006, the current gradual growth is expected to continue. Uncertainties
for 2006 include terrorism; rising energy prices, inflation and interest
rates; and the spread of avian flu.
Boomers are not
than half of the 77 million Americans born between 1946 and 1964, dubbed the
baby boomers, are now over the age of 50. For hoteliers, this means
“changing the language and messages that we have traditionally utilized in
our efforts to connect with the 50-plus or so-called ‘senior’ market;” the
old rules of marketing no longer apply.
“Consumers age 50 and older now buy a quarter of the scooters Vespa sells in
the United States. They have plenty of money and are not afraid to spend it
to fuel their active lifestyles; are ready, willing, and able to try new,
even adventurous experiences; and they are the largest and most lucrative
group of travel related consumers. We can’t afford to ignore them, or their
wants and needs,” article author John S. Fareed says. It is estimated
that boomers spend 40% more time vacationing and 74% more money on a
traditional vacation than the 18- to 34-year-old set.
"Here are some things to keep in mind when marketing to this group:
No labels please:
Don’t try to classify or label boomers. It doesn’t work. Some boomers
are retiring early, while others are still working, perhaps even within
a new start-up. Some are empty nesters, while others are just starting
families. They are connected to people of all ages and are plugged into
a variety of media outlets. Boomers have active social lives with a
multitude of interests, and ultimately defy generalizations.
It’s never too late
Boomers have a thirst for knowledge and actively pursue educational
opportunities. Offer packages and programs that include courses in food
preparation, wine tasting, gardening, foreign languages, historical
tours, relationship management, sexuality, health management, relaxation
techniques, or even financial management.
Still working on
Boomers pursue self-discovery, self-improvement, and reinvention
opportunities. Maturing boomers are also in pursuit of physical fitness
and desire exercise programs that include ‘joint-friendly’ fitness
equipment, low-impact aerobics, and gentle yoga classes. Genuine
relaxation programs and spa treatments are high priorities for boomers
Born To Be Wild:
are explorers. They want exciting adventures and/or experiences, ones
that will either take them off the beaten track to some exotic
destination, or provide an unusual one-of-a-kind experience. It is
important that you sell your property’s attributes as exciting and
adventurous. If you’re located within an exotic destination, inspire
boomers with words that paint the experience. If you’re not, consider
offering exclusive experiences like tickets to concerts or sporting
events, bike or sports car shows, and celebrity weekends with golfers,
authors, chefs or vintners. Think creatively about how to make your
hotel or resort more exciting and interesting.
Buzz is everything:
want value for their most precious commodities – time and money – and
word-of-mouth marketing is gospel. They also have access to a wealth of
information and will look for third-party confirmation to be sure you
are worth their time and money. If you can deliver, or better yet, go
beyond what you’ve promised in your marketing messages, they will very
likely spread the word. Make sure everyone in your organization
understands this. It’s all about the promise versus the actual
experience, and the resulting buzz will either work for or against you."
Rural Americans are in the loop: The use of
high-speed Internet services is
growing quickly in rural areas, according to a
new survey by the Pew Internet and American Life
Project. “Pew reports that as of last fall, 24
percent of rural Americans had broadband Internet
service at home, more than double the 9 percent rate
reported in 2003. In contrast, 39 percent of urban
and suburban dwellers had broadband last fall, up
from 22 percent in 2003.” The reason for the
increase may be the increased availability of
broadband service in rural areas, Pew reports. Pew
reports that 62 percent of rural residents use the
Internet, compared with 70 percent elsewhere. (The
number includes use of dial-up service and Internet
access at work.) Rural users are more likely to log
on for education and games, but less likely to
participate in online banking and buying travel
This Month's Sponsor
More travelers than ever before received BedandBreakfast.com Gift
Certificates in 2005.
These lucky folks may soon be new guests at your B&B,
you’re participating in the BedandBreakfast.com Gift Certificate
program. Watch for increased gift certificate traffic in the upcoming
To join the participating inns, just
log in to your Home Base, or
for more information.
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impressions and click-throughs your B&B has received as a result of all
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Password" ( No. 7 in dropdown menu), and choose another
that's easier to remember.
Inns for Sale
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Pam, Historic Smyser-Bair House, York, PA
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